Last week, the Central Ohio Transit Authority (COTA), the transportation agency that administers public transit services for the metropolitan area around Columbus, deployed a pair of buses powered by compressed natural gas (CNG) as a first step in a wider roll-out of natural gas vehicles.
The 40-foot buses – each of which cost approximately $470,000, representing a premium of about $45,000 over traditional diesel buses – came from manufacturer Gillig Corp. According to coverage from Columbus Business First, COTA is using the first two CNG buses to train drivers and technicians, and an additional 28 buses will be delivered in April.
COTA is planning to shift its entire 310-bus fleet to CNG over the next 13 years. The vehicles will refuel at a CNG station that will be located at COTA's bus facility on McKinley Ave. in Columbus, where the buses will also be maintained.